Candidate filing now open for local city council, school board elections

PRESIDIO COUNTY — The candidate filing period for the May 4 General Election is now open with a filing deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, February 16. Early voting runs from April 22 to April 30, 2024. Voters will decide on Presidio and Marfa city council candidates as well as Marfa ISD School Board candidates and any ballot measures.

The General Election will precede the primary runoff election, which will contain county and state seats, that takes place May 28. In order to qualify to run in the General Election, candidates must have resided in the respective city where the office is held for at least six months, must be 18 years of age or older, be a U.S. citizen, and must not have been convicted of a felony. A full list of qualifications can be found on the secretary of state’s website

Presidio City Council 

Three seats will be up for grabs this spring in Presidio: Steve “Nicky” Alvarez, Joe Andy Mendoza and John Razo. The terms of fellow council members Arian Velázaquez-Ornelas and Nancy Arevalo will expire next year. 

Those who want to file for a spot on city council or want more information can visit City Hall, 507 W O’Reilly Street. Application materials are also available online at https://presidiotx.us/?page_id=63

At press time, City Secretary Brenda Ornelas said that no one had filed to run yet. Alvarez and Mendoza said that they plan to run again; Razo did not respond to a request for comment. 

Marfa City Council

The terms of city council members Mark Cash, Mark Morrison and Eddie Pallarez will be up for election this coming May. Both Cash and Pallarez served two-year terms, while Morrison, who was filling in for the unexpired term of ex-Councilmember Jason Ballmann, served a one-year term. 

As of press time, both Cash and Morrison had filed for reelection to serve full two-year terms. Pallarez did not respond to requests for comment by press time regarding whether or not he intends to file for another term. City Secretary Kelly Perez said he picked up an application and expressed interest in running. Council members are “at large,” meaning they do not fill a specific seat, convene twice a month and are paid $50 per meeting.

Interested parties are encouraged to pick up applications in person at City Hall, 113 S Highland Ave. Applications are also available in both English and Spanish online at https://cityofmarfa.com/government/page/elections.

To submit applications, individuals may file in person at City Hall, mail their applications to City Hall at PO Box 787, Marfa, TX 79843, or email them to [email protected].

Marfa School Board 

The terms of school board members Yolanda Morales, Place 3; Rene Gonzales, Place 4; and Stela Fuentez, Place 1, will be up for election this May. Both Morales and Gonzales served three-year terms, while Fuentez, who was filling in for the unexpired term of former Board Member Christa Marquez, served a one-year term. 

Fuentez told The Big Bend Sentinel she intends to file for reelection. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my fellow board trustees and interim superintendent on making MISD the best environment for our students and staff,” she said. 

Morales and Gonzales did not respond to requests for comment on whether they intend to file for reelection. 

School board members convene once a month and are volunteers.

Interested candidates may visit the Marfa ISD Administration Office, located at 400 W. Lincoln, to pick up a packet from the superintendent’s secretary, Griselda Hinojos. As of press time, Hinojos received no applications for the open school board positions.